Food

Get Snacking: Labour Snacks for the Birthing Person

Labour Snacks

Whether you're a snacker or not, eating during labour is mostly done in the form of snacking (it's difficult to eat a full meal while labouring)! To make snack prep easier, we thought we'd give you a list of great snacks for labour:

  • cut up fruit - we love bananas, apples, watermelon, and cold berries, stay away from citrus as it doesn't feel good coming back up (throwing up during labour is common)
  • cut up veggies - we love carrots and cucumbers
  • nuts and seeds - watch our for allergies
  • dried fruit (unsweetened)
  • popsicles - we love natural fruit juice popsicles and tea pops 
  • miso soup - fantastic umami snack! 
  • broth - veggie or meat, make sure it's clear (i.e. doesn't have chunks)
  • protein balls (see recipe below)
  • crackers, pita, naan, toast - you can have some dahl with it too! 
  • smoothie - dairy free

Recipe for Protein Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop chocolate/vanilla protein powder 
  • 1/3 cup of nut butter 
  • 1/3 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened) or more as needed
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • add ins (depending on consistency): 2 tbsp ground flax sees/chia seeds, 2 tsp maca powder, etc.

Directions

In a food processor/blender mix protein powder, nut butter, and coconut until they are mixed well.

Add maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pulse until combined - if the consistency is too runny/moist add some add-ins.

Rolls into balls - if they're still a little sticky you can roll them in shredded coconut, cocoa powder, crushed nuts, etc.

 

These are nutritious and delicious snacks for labour, but if all you can hold down is a bar of Snickers and fries have those instead ;) 

xo,

The Spectrum Team

Book Review: Green Kitchen at Home

Green Kitchen at Home

It's hard to find inspiration sometimes, especially when cooking. If you follow a specific diet - like vegetarian, gluten free, or vegan - it can be even more difficult to find inspiring, easy recipes without too many specialised ingredients, which is why we are so excited about the Green Kitchen at Home cookbook.

This book was written by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, the family behind the Green Kitchen Stories blog. It's full of versatile recipes for all types or meals and snacks. We picked up this book a couple of months ago and have been testing it with great (and delicious) success! 

Where this book Succeeds

Delicious food! The recipes in this book showcase and combine veggies in new and delightful ways - it made us love cauliflower and fennel like nothing else! We also love the side tips on how to elevate the recipe. We especially love the Mediterranean Tray-bake with Halloumi Chunks and the Green Pea, Broccoli, and Mint Soup with Puy Lentil Topping. 

It reads like a narrative. We weren't familiar with the Green Kitchen Stories prior to picking up up this book, but now we feel like we've known them for a while. The authors do a great job talking about why they picked these recipes and how their family (they have 3 little ones) feels about every dish they talk about. 

Versatile recipes! They have options for everyone - whether you're vegetarian, gluten free, or vegan! If you are an omnivore, you can easily add meat to most recipes as well! 

Points worth noting

Some recipes require a lot of ingredients. They're not necessarily speciality items but they also may not something you have on hand or shop regularly for, which can add up if you're getting them on top of your usual grocery list. 

Many recipes also require more prep work than others, which may be difficult or hassle full for some folks. We found most recipes we had to plan for - it wasn't something we do in the spur of the moment. 

If you want to check it out but are unsure about committing to purchasing it, the Toronto Public Library has several copies on hand! 

Love, 

The Spectrum Team

 

Get Snacking: Leftover fruit

fruit salad

Do you ever buy something to use in a recipe and just...forget about it? That's what happened to me this week. I was going to make this wonderful winter slaw and then I didn't, which meant I had a sad mango and an even sadder papaya lying around. That's when inspiration struck and they became a wonderful fruit salad. 

INGREDIENTS 

1 mango

1 papaya

2 limes

2 handfuls of shredded unsweetened coconut

1-2 pinches of sea salt (trust me on this one)

Cube mango and papaya. Add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix and enjoy! 

Full disclosure - I ate half of this salad right away. It's delicious, keeps well in the fridge, and little and big ones love it! You can have it as a snack - or even as dessert! 

Love, 

Corina and the Spectrum team

Get Snacking: Winter Vegetables

wintercooking.jpg

Winter cooking can involve a lot of cheese and carbs. Which is great - we really really love cheese and carbs - but we can't live off that alone. With the cooler weather and our desire for cosiness (and fats), incorporating lots of vegetables into our cooking can be a struggle - we don't feel nearly as dedicated to salad as we do during summer! 

To remedy that we decided to give Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty a try - it promises us an array of vibrant vegetables recipes. We picked a simple Broccoli and Gorgonzola pie (see our photo above) but we changed the recipe slightly. Check it out below:

Broccoli and Gorgonzola Pie (recipe adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi)

  • 1 package of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 lb of frozen broccoli 
  • 1 tbs of olive oil + 2 tbs water
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 water
  • 3 tbs mustard
  • handful of chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt+pepper
  • 1 package (125g) of blue cheese (we used PC blue cheese)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry into a circle that can easily line a pie pan - be mindful not to overwork the dough as it can harden. Line the pan and trim off the excess pastry. Roll out the next piece to make a thinner top; place this piece on a piece of parchment paper. Chill the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Prick the tart bottom with a fork several time and cover with aluminium foil and cover with baking beans. Bake for 15-20 min, depending on your oven. Remove from the oven, take out parchment and baking beans, and bake for another 5-6 minutes. Let cool.

As the shell is baking, cook the broccoli in a pot of boiling water. The florets should be tender but crisp, approximately 2-4 minutes. Rinse broccoli under cold water, and let dry.

Heat up a pan, add olive oil, and saute leeks on a low heat for 10 minutes, adding more water as needed. Incorporate cream, water, mustard, tarragon, salt, and pepper.

To assemble, spread the leek and cream mixture over the bottom of the tart. Spread the broccoli on top. Add the blue cheese. Brush the rim of the tart pan with the egg, and then place the pastry top over the filling. Press and seal the tart, and cut off any excess pastry. Glaze the top with the beaten egg and bake for 30-35 minutes, until your top is golden brown. Allow to cool 5 min before serving.

We served the pie with a tomato, red onion, dill salad, dressed in olive oil and white vinegar. 

We hope you enjoy it, 

Love, 

The Spectrum Team

Happy Holidays

happy holidays 2017

We love winter holidays - they're often cosy and full of hygge (even if we don't get any snow). And when we say winter holidays we really do mean any holiday - whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia, or just good old Sunday. This year we thought we'd share some of our favourite foods and traditions:

Vegan-Inspired Dinners

We love a good baked brie just as much as the next person (who isn't vegan or lactose intolerant) but we absolutely adored Oh She Glow's Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf as the start of our holiday dinners. It's easier to make than it make look and it's delicious as leftovers! We pair it with home made vegetarian gravy (sauteed mushrooms, veggie broth, cornstarch, spices), a side salad (likely kale) and roast veggies! 

Homemade-ish Presents

We *love* The Make Den. This year we learned how to make draw-string sacks (to use instead of gift bags) and leather gift tags! We also big fans of offering baked good and home-made bath salts and scrubs as presents!

Taking it VERY easy on Boxing Day

This year we hope to spend boxing day reading, having tea and cookies, and maybe taking a nice long bath (unless we're at a birth!).

New Year's Wishes

While we don't exactly have new year's resolutions, we like to map our a vision with wishes for the upcoming year on new year's eve (a little like birth wishes!). We write a couple of wishes for each of the following categories: family and friends; romance; money; fun; health and wellness; home; career/work; hobbies/skills/self-growth. You can subtract from these and/or add your own categories! 

That's it for us - we'll see you in the new year with all the amazing things we've been planning! 

xo, 

The Spectrum Team